Remember this time last year? Some of you were about to travel to Harvard to hear, from the mouths of current students, about life at one of the most illustrious B-schools in the world. Well, that time of year is here again and now it is your turn to give some advice to those fresh-faced, bright idealists. (Do you remember being one of them?) Now I know you are very unlikely to be negative but there are ways to tell the truth nicely. Here are some guidelines:
DO say that the grass is greenest at HBS.
DO NOT say that it is due to the diligence of the Cambridge Landscaping Company.
DO say that summer flies by; warm and balmy.
DO NOT say that in summer the flies swarm and you go barmy.
DO say that winters are brisk and beautiful.
DO NOT say that only the Inuit students find winters here pleasant.
DO say that the friends you make in Section will be the best you make in your life.
DO NOT say that it’s because you’ll spend more time with them than your nearest and dearest.
DO say that HBS is a great place to start a family.
DO NOT say there appears to be some sort of breeding program on campus.
DO say that Boston is a wonderful walking city where cars stop to let pedestrians cross the road.
DO NOT say that it’s so the drivers can take better aim.
DO say that Shad is one of the best student gyms around.
DO NOT say that the closest you’ll get to it in the first year is using the tunnels to get to Aldrich in foul weather.
DO say that on-campus housing allows you to get up later for study group.
DO NOT say that you don’t have time to sleep.
DO say that Spangler has some of the best food in Cambridge.
DO NOT say that you don’t have time to eat.
DO say that Boston air is clean and pollution free.
DO NOT say that you don’t have time to breathe.
But perhaps, as one very sensible woman told me last week, the best advice of all is “don’t listen to anyone’s advice.” Ahh, isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing?